Light Bread and Hanky-Panky

Typical America 'Two-car Garage' (detached type)
A car house--Image via Wikipedia

I have no business being awake this late—early, rather—because Wednesday will be a most taxing day: Kaye George, author of Choke: An Imogene Duckworthy Mystery, will teach me everything I need to know about writing the short story.

Actually, it’s going to take her four days to teach me. Kaye knows a lot, and I’m a bit slow on the uptake. Combined, those conditions require extra time.

The only reason I’m still awake is that on the way home from Austin Mystery Writers critique group, I shopped for groceries. Then, after putting them away, I had to sit down and cool off before preparing for bed. Showering while you’re still sweating like a mule is not productive.

(I apologize for the indelicacy of the previous remark, but when the thermometer reads 90 degrees after midnight, there’s no sense in mincing words.)

And then I checked my e-mail, and the rest is history.

Anyway, before I retire, I want to mention that yesterday, The Daily Post listed “Ten Important Things I’ve Learned about Blogging.” It’s a good list, and I’m especially taken with #6: “Bring back retro phrases like hanky-panky.

I’m going to bring back three retro phrases right now:

ice box

car house

light bread

I consider those three even more important than mulomedic (see Endangered and Underused Words), because people I loved said them, and now no one I know says them at all.

I don’t remember anyone in my old circle saying much about hanky-panky, but my mother occasionally referred to necking.

How much help I can give that phrase is debatable. It’s kind of specialized.

I will, however, do my best.


A further note on light bread: When I was a child, Mrs. Baird’s bread wasn’t available where my family lived, but it was sold sixty miles away, in San Antonio, where my grandmother lived. My father, a bread connoisseur, occasionally mentioned to my mother, “the bread your mama buys.” He always sounded slightly wistful. We had to do with Rainbow or Butterkrust, good enough bread, but no match for Mrs. Baird’s. The links below to two articles about Mrs. Baird’s bread appear here as a nod to that pleasant memory.


Image by Ddgonzal (Own work) [Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons

11 thoughts on “Light Bread and Hanky-Panky

  1. I love the idea of bringing back retro phrases that have personal or sentimental significance and cheerfully submit “smart-alec.”


  2. I love this, Kathy! My grandmother always said “ice box” and I just used it in a story.

    Do you mind if I steal this concept (and some of the words) for a Free Write activity? I will give you credit, promise!


  3. I remember when the people I babysat for in college offered to give me a victrola the man had won at a dinner. At my blank look, the wife said, “Franklin, she doesn’t know what a victrola is.” It turned out to be a nifty little record player. OMG, I think “record player” might have passed into the realm of old words now!


  4. Kathy I am learning so much. English being a second language for me, I always get excited when I learn new words and even thou hanky-panky isn’t new, but it is fun saying it. I signed up for the word of the day via Webster and even wrote a post about it how I did not understand any words that Webster recommends for use 🙂


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